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Jay's an all-around online marketing expert with over 11 years of experience in pay per click, SEO, conversion optimization, affiliate marketing and online communities. He's also a Dad to 3 growing kids. He is 10th percentile in fantasy football on a good year and when he's not working, you can catch him wrestling with his kids.

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Save Budget and Improve Leads With Negative Keywords

budgetLet’s cut through the jargon. Negative keywords are exactly as they sound – keywords you don’t want in your PPC Search campaign. It’s not enough to tell Adwords just the keywords that you want to trigger your ads. It’s difficult to predict all the variations of keywords that might trigger your ad.
When using broad or phrase match keywords it’s inevitable that your ad will be triggered by some less than optimal keyword phrases.

Setting up negative keyword phrase lists will help you eliminate irrelevant clicks, save cash, and focus your campaign on the phrases that really matter for your business. If you’re serious about running tight, focused campaigns that send in quality leads without wasting unnecessary spend, negative keywords are a must.

Finding The Culprits

Where do you check for possible negative phrases after your campaign is live? Google has a handy feature that lets you exmaine your campaigns at the keywords level. Go to your ad group, then keywords. Click on “see search terms”. This will show you a list of all the phrases that your ads have triggered. Look for phrases that you don’t want and then use those as negative keywords.

For example, if you target the “phrase match” keyword “men’s belts”, it’s completely possible for your ads to be triggered by “women’s belts“. That’s not relevant traffic and it’s highly unlikely to convert, so it should be eliminated!

Putting Negative Keywords To Use

Here are 3 tips to better leveraging negative keywords in your campaigns:

1. Be prepared – Before you launch your campaign, comb through your keywords and campaign and add negative phrases you don’t want to associate with your brand or offer. Typically phrases like “free” and “download” are phrases we see that should be no-brainer additions to a negative keyword list.

2. Keep it regular – Manage your negative keywords regularly to make the most of your campaigns. For example, I review all my campaigns on Mondays –  no ifs, ands or buts. If you let it go, phrases can get away on you – and so will your budget and performance.

3. Go big or small – Negative keywords can be applied at the campaign level, which affects all keywords in the campaign, or you can apply them at the ad group level which affects only a specific group of ads. Either way you go about it, think ahead and strategize.

You Can’t Afford Not To!

Negative keywords can be the difference between a well run campaign and a campaign that routinely breaks budget without providing many great leads. By actively monitoring your campaigns and maintaining your negative keyword lists, you can save money while improving your traffic at the same time.

It’s a real win-win situation!